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Old October 30th, 2014, 03:03 AM   #1
mikec4193
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Default How do you make them safer?

Hi everybody

I have been watching a thread over on the SAMBA where a younger person wants his dad to buy him a vintage VW as a first car and there has been a lot of talk about safety. Someone even posted a picture of a vintage VW and modern day 4wd full size pickup in a collision and the results for the VW were not good to say the least. It took the front of the door posts and pushed them back into the rear door post.

So my stupid thought for the day is....how do you guys make these things safer??

I wanna build one but after seeing that photo...kinda makes me think twice about how flimsy these vehicles actually are...

I am thinking a decent 6 point cage....newer modern highback bucket seats....safety harness of course too..newer steering column maybe??

What are you guys doing to make them safer??? Where I live it is like living in a video game....crazy fast and extremely aggressive driving styles....

Any thoughts??

MikeC
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Old October 30th, 2014, 04:51 AM   #2
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Default Re: How do you make them safer?

Roll cage on the pan for sure, I'd fix all of the rust, also you could source a set of vert reinforcement rails to place under the channels that would stiffen things up. Umm automatic fuel shut off, more modern collapseable column from a 1968+ If you want safety get 1950's car.. i've seen the results of those vs modern cars and the modern car lost.
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Old October 30th, 2014, 05:26 AM   #3
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Default Re: How do you make them safer?

4 wheel discs, GOOD radial tires, proper 4 wheel alignment.

This sounds strange, but more HP,
to make getting out of tight spots easier.
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Old October 30th, 2014, 06:56 AM   #4
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Default Re: How do you make them safer?

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4 wheel discs, GOOD radial tires, proper 4 wheel alignment.

This sounds strange, but more HP,
to make getting out of tight spots easier.
What he said !!!

The best & main thing you can do, be a very defensive driver, one thing I always do is never take off from a traffic light as soon as it turns green, too many people run red lights because they're in a hurry, I ALWAYS wait a few seconds & look before taking off, horn honkers hafta wait a few additional seconds, patients is a must now days, plus, I always look both ways when coming to an intersection, again, defensive driving is a must !!

I have a cheap roll cage in mine, one a these days I'm gonna reinforce it, run it up to the front beam, as well as put cross bracing in between just in case someone would run a red light & T-Bone me, I have also thought about air bags as well, front, side, I've also thought about putting one between the seats to keep from slamming heads, I've done that off road in my buggy years ago, my wife & I both saw tweeting birds (a Roger Rabbit joke )

One of the things I have always said when asked if I was worried about being in an accident, if it's meant to be, there isn't much I can do about it, if I'm gonna die in a car accident, or hurt really bad, at least it will be with a Big ole Grin on my face (unless I see it coming)
I have always wanted to be cremated, so if it burst into flames, my wish shall come true, put a sign on it that says "IF on Fire, LET IT BURN"
I've been telling my wife & kids to keep their money & just burn me in the backyard but, I don't wanna get them into any trouble (I wonder if I can legally plan that out )

Plus, we're all gonna die some day, I'm not afraid of that, I'm more afraid of NOT living, heck, I've walked hand in hand on several occasions with Jesus, went thru at least one set of 9 lives, & half way thru my second set, I don't plan on using any more of them, but that's not up to me
I'm still here for a reason, I'll find out soon enough, almost afraid that once I Do find out, the end is near


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Old October 30th, 2014, 11:35 AM   #5
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Default Re: How do you make them safer?

Safe is a major illusion in these clown cars.

I'd probably die being hit riding my motorcycles... so making these little German beer cans safer.. isn't gonna save me if my number is up.

If you need safe... drive an air bag laden tank of a SUV.. or the legendary 64-66 Chrysler Imperial

Other than that...drive like a big ass target is on you at all times is your best defense. Put the phone and distractions down and drive the damn thing...

Can you make these lil' shit boxes safer... you bet.. is it worth it... not sure.. Depends on the crash.
Roll bars and stiffeners are gonna help.. so will collapsible steering shafts, seat belts... and on and on..

I've been real close to death or major hurt twice in the last year.. both of which were close potential drivers front and side hits from people crossing the center lane while jerking on their phones..
I was in my beater Isuzu P'up Diesel... just as tin canny as the Vw's. One so close they took my drivers mirror off and chipped my tail light..
If I hadnt been paying attention... aiming for the right side dirt.. it would have been bad for me.. and a payday for my family...

To repeat.. Safe is a major illusion in these clown cars.

You want a 1930's technology economy car to be safe.. Reskin a modern car with Old Vw sheet metal.. then.. maybe..

Even the micro cars of today are safer...

Go to YouTube.. look up classic Vw crash tests... it aint pretty..

Back when my son was 14.. We bought a 67 project Beetle for us to "recondition".. for him to drive.. for the cool factor alone.....
Once I got my head of my ass on that...
I am so glad now.. we help buy him a modern car..

#1 for safety
#2 less maintenance
#3 better fuel economy..

If you are thinking of driving a Vw at an early driving age for the cool factor... better have ya shit in order.. and good insurance.. including life..



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Old October 30th, 2014, 01:47 PM   #6
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Default Re: How do you make them safer?

Back in the sixties when small cars were beginning to hit the roads, some senator or something staged a collision between an MG and a Lincoln (I may be wrong on the brands). Anyway, the difference in damage was pointed out as the small car being unsafe.
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Old October 30th, 2014, 01:50 PM   #7
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Default Re: How do you make them safer?

A second test was run by the smaller car folks, this time between the Lincoln and a tractor trailer rig...heh, heh. The Lincoln was destroyed. The guys running the test reasoned that a smaller car has a better chance of avoiding an accident due to quicker handling, and the second test was a more likelt scenerio.
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Old October 30th, 2014, 01:53 PM   #8
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Default Re: How do you make them safer?

Hmm. I keep getting bounced out. Anyway, I drive and ancient VW truck, but with modern upgrades, ie. muuuch more power and disc brakes. I also ride my motorcycles (over 50 years now) and drive the truck as if there is a very large target painted on my back. So far, so good.
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Old October 30th, 2014, 04:58 PM   #9
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Default Re: How do you make them safer?

One thing to consider on having a rollcage. If you are in a crash, the trauma you will receive from your head hitting the rollcage can be worse than if it didn't have a cage in it. A friend had an Unlimited street bug and was going through his neighborhood when something broke on the rear suspension and he spun around and hit a big drain culvert. He had a huge bump and a lot of stitches in his head from where he hit the cage and had a concussion. Just something to keep in mind. One reason a helmet is required in racing.

Sometime in the early 70's, the bugs started putting a brace in the door for safety. Kind of looks like a guard rail from the latch forward to below the top hinge. Adds a little weight but a little safer.
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Old November 2nd, 2014, 06:55 AM   #10
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Default Re: How do you make them safer?

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One thing to consider on having a rollcage. If you are in a crash, the trauma you will receive from your head hitting the rollcage can be worse than if it didn't have a cage in it.

Tim
After reading that, the next time I got into mine, I took a good look at my cage, I should be safe that is until I get around to chopping my top
I have my seats so low, I'd be more likely to bust my forehead on the top of the steering wheel than anywhere else, but, accidents are funny like that, unthinkable thinks always seem to happen


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Old November 3rd, 2014, 07:06 AM   #11
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Default Re: How do you make them safer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unkl Ian View Post
4 wheel discs, GOOD radial tires, proper 4 wheel alignment.

This sounds strange, but more HP,
to make getting out of tight spots easier.


Beetles were designed by small car engineers and built from quality steel. I've seen lots of them in the wreckers that had massive front end damage but the passenger compartment was in fine shape - the doors still opened!

The best way to survive an accident is to avoid it - obviously - so making the car handle, accelerate and brake better, supplemented with good defensive driving skills, will go a long way to keeping the driver and their passengers safe.
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Old November 3rd, 2014, 12:55 PM   #12
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Default Re: How do you make them safer?

GOOD seats, and seat belts, help.
High back buckets, with head rests.
Might not be fashionable right now,
but could save your neck.
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Old November 4th, 2014, 02:08 AM   #13
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Default Re: How do you make them safer?

I had a scary moment yesterday, was trying to get into the right lane for an exit ramp, there is an entence ramp just before the exit, who ever designed it wasn't thinking, but that was 50 something years ago

I slowed down to get over to the right lane, I let a car getting on the highway in front of me, I looked over my shoulder to make sure nothing was in my way, I have a terrible blind spot on my right side (no peripheral vision on my right side), I turned around just in time, the car I let in front of me had completely stopped, they were tring to get over one more lane to the left & flippin stopped, nothing in front of them, I knew I'd never be able to stop in time, so I just cut it to the right, left front tire missed their bumper by half an inch
I had to stop & thank God I still have fast reflexes (only when it matters) even had the car behind me stop & yell "nice driving & car"

I think I'm gonna start avoiding the highways AGAIN from now on, it's flippin crazy


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Old November 4th, 2014, 05:22 AM   #14
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Default

Yeah... I'm starting to think painting my 1968 something bright May help... seriously the driving in MN is sketchy at best. I've driven behind five cars with no brake lights
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Old November 4th, 2014, 06:41 AM   #15
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Default Re: How do you make them safer?

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Yeah... I'm starting to think painting my 1968 something bright May help... seriously the driving in MN is sketchy at best. I've driven behind five cars with no brake lights
In Kitsap County the only person that gets pulled over for not having a working tail light is my son - in his 40 yr old Superbeetle!

A year ago he started to log each time he was pulled over and for what reason, who the officer was and their badge number. He's always been able to either fix it on the spot of been within a reasonable distance from home or school (where he could take the time to fix the issue) so he's never actually gotten a ticket. However the list is up to10 different State Patrol and/or Dep. Sherriff in the past year! 7 had no reason to pull him over - just wanted to inspect his car - because god knows a 40 yr old car with a 22 yr old driver has something wrong with it!
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Old November 4th, 2014, 01:47 PM   #16
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Default Re: How do you make them safer?

The above is a burden he'll have to bear. I've been pulled over just twice in the last year. Once by a local Sheriff, and once by a CHP. Both times the officer came up and basically asked, "is this the VW with the V8?" The next few minutes involved a quick 'show & tell.'
I should mention that I haven't been 22 years old in a really, really long time...sigh.
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Old November 4th, 2014, 02:10 PM   #17
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The above is a burden he'll have to bear. I've been pulled over just twice in the last year. Once by a local Sheriff, and once by a CHP. Both times the officer came up and basically asked, "is this the VW with the V8?" The next few minutes involved a quick 'show & tell.'
I should mention that I haven't been 22 years old in a really, really long time...sigh.
can't wait till I can source a corvair drive train for Kaiser(1968) the reactions will be priceless.. that's my dream for that car.
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Old November 5th, 2014, 03:42 AM   #18
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Default Re: How do you make them safer?

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GOOD seats, and seat belts, help.
High back buckets, with head rests.
Might not be fashionable right now,
but could save your neck.
Hi UnklIan

I agree totally...they stress that so much with racing stuff...

Hey Dr.Hax

I raced roundy rounds for years and my favorite color was bright yellow and I even left the 3rd rear brake light in...folks used to laugh at me but you wanna know I never got hit in the tail end...I got spun out more that once but that was close racing...the brighter the color the safer the vehicle...street wise or race car wise too..

My smelly old 2 cents

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Old November 5th, 2014, 10:49 AM   #19
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Hi UnklIan

I agree totally...they stress that so much with racing stuff...

Hey Dr.Hax

I raced roundy rounds for years and my favorite color was bright yellow and I even left the 3rd rear brake light in...folks used to laugh at me but you wanna know I never got hit in the tail end...I got spun out more that once but that was close racing...the brighter the color the safer the vehicle...street wise or race car wise too..

My smelly old 2 cents

MikeC
Yeah that's why I like the 1966s bahama blue. Its bright ny today's standards in a sea of white black and silver.
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Old November 6th, 2014, 04:14 AM   #20
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Default Re: How do you make them safer?

I have been keeping old tail light pices for years, the reflector parts, I just found a few of them, I'm gonna put a few long red ones under my doors where the running boards go, then I have a few small white & yellow ones for the front of the car
Been doing a lot of night time driving the last few nights, I wanna be seen in a black car
I need some super thin reflective tap to decorate the upper parts of the car

One thing is for sure, I'm definitely gonna get to work on a different rear bumper, I put the rear cage from my rail buggy on it after almost being hit in the rear, it's functional, but dadgum, tired of people saying they like my Baja
But, it does resemble a Baja in the back, specially with the snow tires on it, I never did put my regular street tires on it this past Summer, why change now



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Old November 6th, 2014, 06:09 AM   #21
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Default Re: How do you make them safer?

The Single Cab (a '58) has those small round tail/brake lights, so I added a strip of LED lights sourced from O' Reilly's at the lower outer corners of the rear bumper. I wired them so they come on with the brake and turn signal for their respective side. The SC sits high so the lights really show when used.
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Old November 6th, 2014, 09:12 AM   #22
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Default A third brake light??

HI everybody

I was just thinking...is it that hard to add a third brake light like on most every car we see on the roadways of today??...that would make things a lot safer for the folks chasing us up the back side...

Just a thought...whatya all think??

MikeC
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Old November 6th, 2014, 10:08 AM   #23
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Default Re: A third brake light??

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HI everybody

I was just thinking...is it that hard to add a third brake light like on most every car we see on the roadways of today??...that would make things a lot safer for the folks chasing us up the back side...

Just a thought...whatya all think??

MikeC

It is quite easy. My daughter's '72 has one. So does several members of our local car club.
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Old November 6th, 2014, 10:28 AM   #24
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Default Re: How do you make them safer?

I agree with most of the statements above. There are a few things that we can do to make them as safe as they can be.

Make sure everything works (gauges, lights, fuel lines etc), install good brakes, seatbelts, collapsible steering shaft, 3 point seat belts. Probably one of the most important - drive it. This one I think we all do more so than the average other guy. Because we have to.

The modern car driver has too many other things to do in the car so they don't have to actually drive it. They are more "sitting in the driver's seat while the car more or less gets me from point A to point B with minimal input from me."

A modern car will brake when you don't see something (cool, now I can text and drive)

A modern car is very well insulated to keep all the outside noises outside (cool, now I don't have to listen to horns honking or sirens blaring)

A modern car has cruise control (my foot gets so tired applying a few pounds of downward pressure)

A modern car will tell you if there is something in your blind spot (cool, now the only mirror I need to use is the vanity mirror to check my hairstyle)

A modern car can't be looked at by anyone but a trained technician with the appropriate tools. (cool, so now I don't have to get dirty checking fluids or belts or anything to prevent failure - just have to wait until AFTER something happens and then maybe I can be part of a class action lawsuit) This is how the modern driver thinks.



Yes, I think we are better drivers because we actually are driving and not doing other things. We can hear the road, the car, outside noises. We know when something doesn't sound right. We have to be looking around constantly as other people aren't looking for us. We actually control the vehicle speed, steering and gear selection so we are not just sitting in the driver's seat.

My kids all have an older VW for their daily driver. I don't think this is a bad idea at all. Some of you may disagree, but I do have quite a few reasons why I wanted them to rock an old air-cooled daily. For me, the benefits far outweigh the hazards.
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The bolt is Fucked, it won't fix it's self,
the Bolt Fairy won't fix it, and you can't fix it.


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Old November 6th, 2014, 05:17 PM   #25
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Default Re: How do you make them safer?

"This is how the modern driver thinks."

"Modern driver" and "thinks," don't really belong in the same sentence. I see people behind the wheel on their phones, texting, applying makeup, or playing with the GPS on their dashboards. Now, there are commercials showing "drivers" doing incredibly stupid things and the car saving their incompetent asses. I'm guessing that if they are in an accident, they will sue the manufacturer for the car's failure to prevent it. As in "The car should have known that the One Way street I was on when I collided with six other cars and a bus load of nuns and orphans meant going the other way." sigh.
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